Having travelled to both Bali and Binsar in July, I am convinced that there is a much untapped tourism opportunity within India.
India gets about 18 million foreign tourists each year, according to Wikipedia. China gets three times as many. With better infrastructure and promotion, India’s numbers can easily match that of China.
For example, it is easier for me to get to Bali in Indonesia than to get to Binsar in Uttarakhand. This needs to change. We need to upgrade domestic infrastructure – better roads, more airports, faster trains. This needs to be combined with a bigger promotional push. More than half the people I mention Binsar toi haven’t heard about it – and neither had I till a couple months ago. India has many places of great natural beauty – which feature among some of best known secrets!
Tourism as a services industry can be thus not just a big forex generator but also a big employer, as Arun Maira wrote in the ET recently.